Let’s face it: No matter how long you spend crafting that text, it’s never going to be as clever as the words of Yeezy. Or Nas. Or K-Dot.
But what if you could respond to any message with a rap lyric?
That’s exactly what RapKey, a free new app from Babson student Jonah Kaner, promises to do: turn those tired texts into something a little sexier.
It’s not just texts you can hip-hop-ify, either. The app can convert messages in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, email and Yik Yak in addition to iMessage and any other program that has a keyboard.
RapKey, which was recently featured on Product Hunt, just launched in the iTunes store Nov. 13. The idea for the app came to Kaner, a marketing major and co-president of Babson’s eTower learning community, when he was hired to run digital strategy for a few A-list rappers. Though we can’t name them – let’s just say one Atlanta-bred artist’s debut album had five singles on the Billboard Hot 100, and the other has won 13 Grammys for his rap music.
“So music has been on my mind a lot recently,” he said.
Kaner realized how often he would send rap lyrics to friends and family spice conversations up – and that sparked the idea for an app that would do the work for you. He and Ativ Patel, another eTower member, didn’t waste any time on developing their innovation: They had RapKey designed, coded and submitted in a matter of three days.
The beauty of RapKey lies in its simplicity. All you have to do is scroll through the pre-loaded lyrics in the keyboard, which are hand-curated by Kaner and Patel, select one and it will auto-populate into the text box. Kaner explained that the lyrics are categorically organized into use-cases. For example, one category is a collection of lyrics that are entertaining responses to “where are you?” while another offers suggested answers to “what are you doing?”
Don’t like the options? On the website, you can submit the lyrics you want to see in the collection. Kaner says his team is currently working on building a more streamlined custom lyrics feature as well.
He’s not just limiting the app to rap, though. Kaner believes there’s great potential in other genres of keyboards, in addition to custom ones for personalities and companies.
“Rap was just a start, but we’d love to expand to other genres of music, as well as other forms of content,” Kaner said. “There’s no reason why TV shows and movies shouldn’t have standalone keyboards.”
So far the team only consists of Kaner and Patel, but he says there’s definitely a possibility for the startup to expand if they move forward with iterations of content-branded keyboards.
As for Kaner’s favorite lyric in the app?
“It go Halle Berry or hallelujah” — obviously.